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Back in July we got the news that MBNA were calling final boarding on their co-branded Lufthansa Miles & More credit card. This was a big loss to the UK market – Miles & More miles are hard to come by without actually flying Star Alliance, as they are not an Amex Membership Rewards partner.
Another major blow was the unique card perk that prevented your miles expiring, otherwise Lufthansa applies a harsh expiry policy of 36 months from when they are earned.
Introducing the M&M Global Traveller Duo Pack!
In what may be considered a surprise move, Lufthansa has partnered with Diners Club (yes, apparently they still exist!) and Mastercard to launch a new Duo Pack known as the Global Traveller Cards. These cards appear to be a CHARGE card (even the Mastercard) so you must clear your balance in full each month via Direct Debit.
Interestingly the earning rate is 1.25 M&M Miles / £1 spent on BOTH cards, so you should have no issue earning miles as between the two of them they should be accepted pretty much everywhere.
There are some small catches however, there is an annual fee of £79 per year, and you can only have a single card holder. No additional cardholders are permitted on the account so you can’t get another card for your partner to help boost spend through the account.
Full details of the new cards, including Terms and Conditions can be found here.
Your £79 is not just for the cards though, you will also receive:
- A “one time” access to a Lufthansa business class lounge via a voucher. It is unclear but I assume this is for the cardholder only.
- “Discounted” access to the Diners Club Lounge Network – you will be charged £15 per visit to over 800 participating lounges around the world. This is a potentially good deal if you have a Priority Pass membership which charges per visit since they recently increased their fees. The coverage within the UK is also pretty good including most regional airports. The full list can be found here.
10k Sign Up Bonus
Until 31st December 2018, the card is offering an increased sign up bonus of 10,000 miles (instead of 5,000) awarded following your first purchase, with no target spend requirements.
Is it worth it?
This will always be a personal decision. If, like me, you have a fair stash of M&M miles, but not quite big enough for a business class redemption – the £79 might be worth it to keep your miles from expiring and it has an “OK” earning rate for a non-Amex product. The question is whether you think you will be able to earn sufficient miles for that long-haul redemption as M&M short hauls are usually pretty poor value.
The inability to add a second card holder is also a blow, as it can be a great way to boost your spend if you put ALL your household spend through a card then pay it off at the end of the month. The inability to hold a credit balance on the card isn’t necessarily a bad thing – points earning cards usually lose ALL their value if you keep credit balances due to their relatively high interest rates (how do you think the companies afford to pay you all these points?!).
The lounge access might swing it for some, if you currently purchase a Priority Pass pay per visit membership instead – but again if you are one of those people Amex Platinum might be a better option for you if you are a regular lounge user without status.
Ultimately it will come down to your personal circumstances, but it’s always good to have options. I am not a financial adviser – so you will need to make your own decisions!